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Political interference, sex scandal, others, killing Nigerian varsities, says ex- UCH CMD

… Lauds ABUAD for awarding N269.8m scholarship to students
From Priscilla Ofunre, Ado-Ekiti
The immediate past Chief Medical Director, University of Ibadan College Hospital (UCH), Prof Temitope Alonge, has said lack of autonomy and reported cases of sex-for-marks, are major impediments militating against the growth of Nigeria’s Ivory towers.

Alonge, a Professor of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, said making the universities to be apron strings of politicians stifled them of funds and create veritable opportunities for policy somersault, which he said are not good for the development of university education.
The university teacher added that the incessant cases of sexual harassment, leading to allotment of marks to underserved undergraduates, had also been a malaise causing serious degrading to Nigerian universities.

Alonge spoke on Saturday at the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) while delivering a lecture entitled : ‘The Pearl in the Pack’ , to mark the 10th Founder’s Day and 7th convocation ceremonies of the university.
The Medical Doctor cum lecturer added that deviation from the British directive that Nigerian universities must be autonomous institutions and free from encumbrances of the government in power and universities’ Unions, has crippled the gains the country could have made from that sector.
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Expresing disapproval with the refusal of Tertiary Education Trust  Fund (TETfund) to fund private universities, Alonge lauded ABUAD for awarding N269.8million worth of scholarship within six years.
“Since our universities are greatly politicised by government and Unions, why then are we perturbed by the abysmal performances and challenges facing many federal and state owned universities today?”, Alonge asked.
He advised that researches in the Nigerian universities must be tailored towards promoting industrial development to create symbiotic relationship between the industry and the academic environment  .
Alonge added further : “In the federal and state education space, the sing song about the challenges facing the universities range from poor funding, infrastructural decay, inadequate skilled faculties, misplaced relationship between the industries and other universities, poor research outputs and inappropriate workforce among other issues.
“It is amusing when the universities’ unions insist that the federal government must fully fund university education, because such demand is not only a wishful thinking, but unrealistic.
“Of the submissions of the Wale Babalakin’s committee, including scholarships and students’ loan scheme premised on the availability of jobs on graduation, my take is that we revert to the directive of our colonial masters to ensure that universities are autonomous.
“My prayer is that, with the  clamour by the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria that the FG should offload some burdensome luggages, I hope that the universities will fall into that category”, he said.
Espousing his views on the preponderance of sexual molestations in universities, Alonge regretted the proliferation of first class graduates who are not only uemployable, but reducing the global rating of the country in education.
“It is germane to point out here that this affliction of education, where credits are given to undeserving students which is currently playing out at the University of Lagos with the grade-for-sex scandal unearthed by the British Broadcasting Services (BBC), has created more rots in the system”.
Alonge praised ABUAD for reintroducing moral education that has been discarded by other Nigerian public schools into its operations.
“Apart from imbibing moral education, ABUAD 400 bed multi system hospital, sporting activities, entrepreneurial derivables, farm products, wood processing industry and administrative and unique organisational structure, are gradually reviving the hope of university education in Nigeria.
“To destroy any country does not require a nuclear bomb, it requires only the destruction of the country’s education system”, he warned.
Supporting the autonomy, ABUAD’s founder, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), said any university must be free to carry out research, look for funding, set criteria for admission, rather than being tied to the apron of the governments.
“The FG must offload itself and allow universities to operate on its own. This is the only way to have accountability in the system”.ReplyForward